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Cordiant Communications Group reported on March 8 a healthy surge in profits during 2000, despite reduced profit margins in its three top regions: North America, continental Europe and the U.K. Total revenues for the British advertising and media group rose 54.1% to $780 million, up from $544 in 1999. Net new business rose 80% to $750 million, from $420 million in 1999, and new business gains are running 50% ahead of 2000 during the first two months of 2001.

Results were helped by strong new business and acquisitions of specialist communications companies including health-care specialist Healthworld Communications -- renamed Bates Healthworld -- and Lighthouse Global network, a firm with design, business communications, promotions and event marketing practices.

Cordiant management noted that revenue from its marketing communications services in the U.K. and the U.S. has increased to more than 60% of 2000 revenue, which Cordiant said will help it meet its growth targets this year. Revenues are roughly split evenly between advertising and marketing services, and "the needle is ticking towards marketing communications," said CEO Michael Bungey. Cordiant's management has targeted a revenue split of one-third advertising services and two-thirds marketing activities by 2003.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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